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joselso
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107 91 5 16
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Yet another updated BIOS for Z820

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HP Z820 workstation

I have noticed that an updated System BIOS has been published by HP for the Z820 workstation.

 

This vesion 3.94 replaces the previous version 3.92, that has been the source of many complaints in this Forum due to crashes, non-booting and slow performance after it was installed in Zx20 family of workstations.

 

I have not yet installed the problematic version 3.92, and now I am not sure whether it is adviseable to rush in with version 3.94 which was published less than one month ago. Does it address those complaints or is it just an addition to what version 3.92 did?

 

So, if some brave person has already dared install the new version 3.94, please come forward and describe the outcome.

 

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DGroves
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sorry to hear about all your board replacements, but just a quick follow up on the HP board revision policy

 

if you ordered a board with the original motherboard and 55xx cpu's , hp warranty plainly states that they have the right to replace with the equivlent if the original is not available

 

in your case that means your v1 55xx board can be replaced with any newer one or the original revision

 

if your original purchase had a v2 board, using 56xx cpu's then hp will only replace with a v2 or newer board as the v1 would not be able to use the 56xx cpu's

 

in my years in "IT" i have found all major workstation venders support to be top notch in most cases with very few times where they dropped the ball.

 

reguarding bios updates' only you or your "IT" dept can make the decision if a newer bios update is worthwhile, but in most cases nowadays the answer is yes you should update as the fixes are critical in nature and affect hardware more so than in previous Non UEFI days.

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DGroves
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i have not seen any reports on this forum of a z820 user having issues or complants with a bios update in recent memory

 

perhaps you are confusing  bios update issues the z600/620 series?

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joselso
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OK, you are right in pointing out that the complaints on BIOS version 3.92 concerned HP Zx20 workstations, and in particular Z620 and Z420. These are the 'smaller brothers' of HP Z820, and all three models share many common properties and features.

 

BIOS updates to version 3.92 were introduced at the same time for all three models, addressing the same vulnerability and updating the same Intel processor microcode for the same family of processors.

 

That is why I assume - perhaps too carefully - that by updating my Z820 to version 3.92, I, too, might encounter similar difficulties as did users of  Z420 and Z620.

 

Now version 3.94 has been introduced, simultaneously for all three Zx20 models. Does it include any correction that will prevent those issues? Or will I face the same difficulties if I update from version 3.91 to version 3.94?

 

BTW, the CPU family in my Z820 is Sandy Bridge and I use Windows 7. I think this CPU family cannot run Windows 10, being 'too old' in Microsoft's view, so there is no advantage for me in version 3.94 that claims to fix an issue with Windows 10 latest version 1803.

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SDH
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You need to know about the version 1 versus version 2 of these ZX20 workstations.... what is yours?  What is it's boot block date, from BIOS?  You may have a Sandy Bridge but still could run an Ivy Bridge if you have the later boot block date.  You may be one of the lucky ones who got a ZX20 version 2 with a cheap slow Sandy Bridge processor, and could upgrade easily to an Ivy Bridge processor.  That would be nice....

 

Second, W10Pro64 works great on either the version 1 or the version 2..... it even works great on the ZX00 generation of workstations, and even on our xw6400 and xw6600 workstations that we keep running (with upgrade to the fastest processors HP certified for them) because they keep running so well and fast.

 

Not rocket ships, but still great...... and they all seem to get a noticable speed boost from W10.

DGroves
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while the first wave of bios updates containing the intel spectre fix was borked and promptly removed by venders at intel's request later releases were for the most part stable, but perhaps not entirely bug free with some rare issues.

 

many of the people who post here about bios update issues are themselves the cause of their problems. i have seen first hand cases of where they start the update and then fail to wait till it finishes (hp could do a better job here describing the update secuence of events)

 

many people also try to update from within windows, when the OS itself has problems, which is why "IT" prople recomend either DOS or from within the bios itself performing the update. we also document current  bios settings before updating

 

next we have the group of people who overclock their video card/cpu (or both) and try to update the bios with unplesent results (never ever update the bios when a part is overclocked!! reset to stock before updating bios)

 

if you remove all of the above, the remaining group is very, very small who may have experenced a true bug while updating

 

last, while the z800/z820/z600/620/z400/z420  systems have not been tested by HP for windows 10, All run it quite well, and  the x20 based models even have current driver updates from venders who make the parts used in those systems. so the fact that HP has included a fix for the latest release of windows 10 is a unexpected bonus and after reading the bios update details included with 3.94 i would recomend applying this update in most cases

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joselso
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This Z820, purchased in August 2012 with 5-year onsite warranty (+continued care-pack until now), has undergone four motherboard replacements by HP technicians, almost annually starting in 2013. In all cases it was due to memory error 942, which did not go away just by replacement of memory sticks.

 

The original boot block date was 28 December 2011, and with each motherboard replacement it switched between that boot block date and the newer date 03/062013.
[HP replacement boards are not sorted according to boot block date, and all Z820 motherboards that HP technicians can lay hands on in HP parts stores have the same formal 'replacement part number'.]

 

I was always aware of the matter of boot block date and its relevance to compatibility with Intel processor families. As things stand it would be a bit hazardous for me to upgrade the processors to a newer version, when at any time another motherboard replacement might be suddenly required, with unknown boot block date to be accepted.

 

Anyway I am glad to hear that Microsoft's announcement on Windows 10 incompatibility with earlier Intel processors families did not materialize until now. Does it mean that the next quaterly or semi-annual upgrades of Windows 10 will continue to work great on older workstations? Who can tell?

 

As to BIOS version 3.94: I will let it 'mature' for a few months, and I will watch Forum reports, before installing it in this Z820 (certainly not from within Windows! I always use a new external USB flash drive with the latest .bin file to upgrade from within BIOS).

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DGroves
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sorry to hear about all your board replacements, but just a quick follow up on the HP board revision policy

 

if you ordered a board with the original motherboard and 55xx cpu's , hp warranty plainly states that they have the right to replace with the equivlent if the original is not available

 

in your case that means your v1 55xx board can be replaced with any newer one or the original revision

 

if your original purchase had a v2 board, using 56xx cpu's then hp will only replace with a v2 or newer board as the v1 would not be able to use the 56xx cpu's

 

in my years in "IT" i have found all major workstation venders support to be top notch in most cases with very few times where they dropped the ball.

 

reguarding bios updates' only you or your "IT" dept can make the decision if a newer bios update is worthwhile, but in most cases nowadays the answer is yes you should update as the fixes are critical in nature and affect hardware more so than in previous Non UEFI days.

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